How To Dye Rainbow Hair

rainbows!
I've had pink hair for nearly a year and a half. It's a weird thing when pink hair starts feeling bland! So when it came time to do my roots a couple weeks ago, I decided to go RAINBOW! I get asked all the time how I did it, so I wanted to share my pro tips with y'all. It's way easier than it seems if you know exactly what you're doing!

I went rainbow on top of pink hair, which seemed much easier than dying on a blank bleached canvas. I recommend picking a light base color (pink, orange, light purple) to do your whole head first, then wait a month or so for your roots to come in. Then you already have a color to blend when you add more colors. But who knows, doing rainbow on a blank canvas is probably easy too!

0. Get your haircut first!

I always get my hair cut the day I plan to dye it. That way there is less to dye, and when I'm done with the dye I have a perfect style. Plus, you don't want to get it washed and cut right after you dye it because the harsh products salons use will fade your color. Each time I go I tell the stylist my coloring plans and she invariably gives me a new tip to use in the dying process.

1. Bleach your roots (or whole head)

I use this bleach and leave it in for about 50 minutes. Make sure you do the back of your head first, where hair is darker. If you are doing only the roots, put conditioner on all the colored parts to keep them from getting bleached. This keeps your already-dyed hair way healthier.

2. Choose your colors

I use Special Effects Atomic Pink as my primary color, and added Hot Topic's Raw brand Bright Yellow and Deep Purple. Next time I'll probably add some sort of blue, and mix the Deep Purple with Atomic Pink to get a lighter purple.

3. Prepare your head & workstation

Cover your work area with newspaper. Semi-permanent dye stains everything! Next, cover every inch of your hairline with petroleum jelly. I slather it all over my ears, neck, forehead, and cheeks. It is WAY less annoying to remove Vaseline than color stains on skin! After you lube up, don your rubber gloves.

4. Apply the lightest color first

I put the yellow on first, at the top of my head. Darker colors will bleed into lighter colors, so you can prevent that by keeping it on top. I put some yellow on top of the old pink to make the orange gradient. Next I applied the purple on the bottom layer and wrapped a square of foil around the purple part so it wouldn't bleed on the rest of my hair. Finally, I applied the pink to the remaining hair. If you use more colors than I did, just wrap each section in foil as you go. I leave the color in for at least an hour for extra vibrancy. When the hour is up I rinse from top to bottom, so the purple doesn't drip into the yellow. The entire dying process from bleach to finish took me about three hours.

5. Maintenance

Your dye may leak for a couple weeks when you sweat or get your hair wet. Bring a towel to the gym to keep colorful sweat off your neck and clothes. Avoid wearing your favorite white shirt or bra to the gym until the leaky period ends!

You may also find dye stains on your fingernails, toilet seat, bathtub, linens, and computer keyboard! Use dark towels and bedsheets to keep the visible stains to a minimum. Be careful on other people's furniture!

If you want to keep your hair vibrant for up to 3 months, DON'T WASH YOUR HAIR! I stopped washing my hair with shampoo when I first went pink. All shampoo does is strip your hair of oil, making it overproduce oil so you need to shampoo more. If my hair looks dirty (maybe once every three weeks), I wash it with 1 tablespoon of baking soda mixed with a cup of water, and condition it with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with a cup of water. Trust me, it works!

6. Be fearless, but get a friend to help!

Hair dye and bleach boxes can contain scary warnings that deter people from experimenting on their own. I've NEVER had a bad experience dying my own hair, and I doubt you will either! Just never leave bleach in for more than an hour, keep it out of your eyes, and you'll be golden! However, I always do my hair with Kelly around so I can ask her to wipe dye off my neck or tell me if I missed a spot. It's way more fun with a friend too!

15 thoughts on “How To Dye Rainbow Hair

  1. F-yeah, girl! I love this sunshine look on you! My friend and I are actually doing sunset hair on me this weekend. I’ll send this on over to her–it’s her vision!– and I’m sure she’d love this as inspiration. xoxo

  2. That looks amazing on you! Thanks for sharing these tips on dyeing hair. I’d love to have bright red hair someday. Cheers and more power!

  3. I love the colors, Jessica! Thanks for all the tips. I just dyed my hair with the new Garnier Nutrisse Ultra Color (R3), and I want to make sure it stays this vibrant red as long as possible. I LOVE it! So question about maintenance: when you say you don’t wash your hair, do you mean you don’t even rinse it every other day or so? Do you not get it wet at all? Do you use gels or other styling products, such as hair spray? How do you get rid of bed head?

  4. Thanks Jody!
    I definitely do thoroughly rinse every day! I think it’s the only way to get rid of sweat & dirt.

    I don’t use any products, and I am fortunate enough to have super fine hair that doesn’t get very bed-heady. A quick rinse always works though!

    <3

  5. Love this so much, Jessica! Serious amazing and so gorgeous. I want to try something like this too, I change my hair often but it gets boring having just one shade each time. I wanna mix it up a bit, and this is perfect inspiration for that :)

    (PS. My hair is currently Atomic Pink too, it’s one of my favourite colours!)

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  7. Luv your hair but for those more chicken like me, koolaid dip dye might be a safer place to start. It’s not anywhere near permenent but you can still get a sense of how vibrant colors like these might look on you. Plus it’s a fun non commited way to change up your look. Enjoy!

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